Yes!IF you already know how to work your pelvic floor effectively, then YES! Definitely, Pilates can help strengthen the pelvic floor & teach you to use it in a functional way. Many specialist antenatal & postnatal physiotherapists are also experienced Pilates Instructors. Exercise is a key pillar of our physio training and Pilates has proven to be a style of exercise to really suit mums’ needs. Chosen carefully, some exercises can be started from the early days, even after a caesarean. I am such a Pilates enthusiast that have made a series of postnatal exercise videos taking you from “birth to 6 weeks”, via abs & gluts focus sequences to getting ready to run. With Pilates for Pelvic Floor Strengthening to really target this most elusive bit! Join me here….
And no….NOT if your pelvic floor muscles are very weak. Or even completely ‘switched off’. That’s when you do have perfectly good muscles, but your brain is not telling them to work. Maybe because of some nerve problems since your delivery. Rather like having windscreen wipers but no button to switch them on in the rain. Or working too hard. Sometimes you are subconsciously over-gripping since you had your baby. Perhaps still tense around an episiotomy scar or going into spasm when you sit or walk too long? If your inside pelvic floor muscles are not ready (even if your outside seems fine), then unfortunatley, you could do an entire Pilates class with relatively little benefit. Some times things get worse:
- you might feel more sore in your pelvis after a class than before.
- it’s easy to accidentally bear down and stretch & weaken them more
- or not realise that you have too much pressure on your bladder or uterus inside, encouraging a prolapse to appear as you exercise more.
Not sure what’s going on inside?If you have any worries that your pelvic floor is not quite what it should be or want to return to a high level of sport or fitness, get your technique checked before you do too much more DIY.
Ask your midwife or GP to refer you to a Specialist Physiotherapist. They will examine you and properly advise on your personal situation.